Peace Corps to Tackle Grassroots Energy Issues

The Peace Corps announced late last month that the U.S. Department of State will provide $1 million to fund the program in support of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA). The money will help Peace Corps efforts that increase rural access to energy, mitigate the effects of climate change, and support the use of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies in Central and South American communities.

Under the partnership, Peace Corps volunteers will work with members of local communities to build infrastructure to support environmentally friendly energy and to educate communities on climate change and energy conservation. Volunteers will train host-country citizens to install, operate, and maintain energy-efficient technologies, including alternative fuels, biodigesters, solar water heaters, photovoltaic devices, solar and fuel-efficient stoves, and wind or mini hydroelectric power generation. These efforts will make clean energy more accessible to rural communities, reduce carbon emissions, and provide opportunities for individuals to generate income.

This is the most recent initiative for ECPA, which has expanded since President Obama invited all Western Hemisphere countries to join during the Fifth Summit of the Americas in April 2009. In spring, DOE announced a series of EPCA partnerships to address clean energy and energy security in the Western Hemisphere, including launching an Energy Innovation Center for Latin America and the Caribbean, developing biomass resources in Columbia, and cooperating with Argentina on clean energy technologies. The Peace Corps’ initial ECPA-related efforts will be implemented in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Suriname. 

Kevin Eber is a senior science writer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In that capacity, he has promoted energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for nearly 20 years.

This article was first published in the U.S. Department of Energy’s EERE Network News and was reprinted with permission.

 

Previous articleEdwards Chemical Management Europe goes to start-up Solar Semi
Next articleJDSU debuts multijunction concentrator photovoltaic cell
I write "high profile" documents for DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), including things like R&D 100 award nominations. From 1999-2010, I was editor of the EERE Network News, a weekly newsletter for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). I did about half of the research and most of the story selection, coding, and publishing of this document. In July 2010, Ernie Tucker took over as editor, and I now serve as backup. The email is sent to more than 40,000 subscribers each week and is also available on a Web page and via an RSS feed. I was also the lead writer on the NREL Research Review 2006 and 2007 and the NREL Annual Report 2009 and helped to blog from the 2007 Solar Decathlon, including both texts and photos. Over the years at NREL, I have worked on a wide range of projects, including editing most of the articles for an edition of Advances in Solar Energy (Volume 7); editing, testing, and reviewing multiple editions of The Sun's Joules CD; writing many, many brochures and fact sheets; and providing a great deal of content for the NREL and EERE Web sites. Among the recent publications that I have authored is "From Biomass to Biofuels: NREL Leads the Way," which was essentially intended to convince the oil industry to work with NREL. I was also involved in the early days of green power certification, and helped to launch a non-profit organization called the Renewable Energy Alliance (REA), which is now defunct. I also helped to build the REA Web site and the first Green-e Web site and helped layout flyers for use in grassroots green power marketing in Colorado. My involvement started in 1995, when I wrote an article on green pricing for Karl Rábago (who was then in charge of DOE's Office of Utility Technologies) and had it published in the September edition of Electrical World.

No posts to display